Technology & Operations

Organizations moving to Salesforce gain great flexibility regarding data organization. However, with flexibility can come confusion. Without a solid data management strategy, organizations can quickly find themselves with dirty or duplicate data. For fundraising organizations that rely on impactful and streamlined communication with constituents, this can quickly and negatively impact fundraising results.

Luckily, institutions have a variety of tools available in Salesforce to help mitigate dirty data and improve data integrity. While ideally these tools should be used as part of a larger strategic data management plan, they are accessible to organizations of all sizes and can be easily utilized by most administrators, no matter presence of a larger strategy.

Here are some of our favorites:

Required Fields

Ensuring you include required fields related to important dates, industry information or any other critical data point will improve data integrity. Smart use of required fields will ensure users enter critical information where needed.

Validation Rules

Validation rules can be configured for any field. When the new data point is saved, the system checks to ensure compliance with a format of your preference. For example, if you want to make sure all agents follow DD/MM/YYYY as the standard date format, validation rules will ensure no data is saved that doesn’t match the required rule. Fields can have multiple validation rules. Common use of validation rules include phone numbers, credit card numbers, customer IDs, or standard contact information requirements.

Workflow Rules

workflow rules example Workflow rules allow you to automate standard internal business procedures and processes to save time across your company. An example might be the automatic assignment of a regional gift officer to a constituent that is created in the database in a specific predefined region. Workflows increase data integrity via automation and save users time by preventing the manual entry of data.

Page Layouts

Organizations only need to display features and information that is most useful to their employees. Customizing page layouts for different departments ensures there’s no time wasted navigating information that is not relevant to different job functions. Teams will have the information they need front and center with everything they use most frequently without clutter or confusion.

Duplicate and Matching Rules

Duplicate records are the bane of many organizations as having streamlined and accurate constituent records is the foundation of effective donor interactions. These rules define what happens when a user views a record with duplicates or starts creating a duplicate record. Salesforce provides standard duplicate rules for business and individual accounts, contacts, and leads. You can also create custom duplicate rules relevant to your business practices. The best way to manage duplicates is to prevent them from being created in the first place!

Data Enrichment Tools

Data becomes almost obsolete the moment it is entered and requires constant maintenance to remain accurate. The most common example of this for organizations is the National Change of Address registry that is utilized to update contact information to ensure addresses remain valid. It’s important to regularly match your data against trusted sources. Several products with these capabilities are available on the AppExchange store for downloading onto your Salesforce CRM.

As Salesforce partners, BWF assists clients with a variety of services related to administration and maintenance. BWF offers clients ongoing “service packs” of administrative hours to support ongoing Salesforce configuration and/or staff augmentation. Service packs provide a flexible way for clients to address common data integrity issues, and BWF can scale to specific fundraising projects or tasks. Many clients find great value in having a BWF employee who is well versed in Salesforce functionality work as an extension of their staff.  BWF also assists with creating comprehensive data management strategies that may apply to a variety of organization types and CRMs.

Learn more about how BWF can help you with CRM needs.